The trees take in sunlight, transforming its vibrant energy into flowers that become fruits, giving rise to slow-spreading root systems that anchor both tree and soil, and growing leaves that shade the ground below for any creature seeking respite there from the midday heat.
Then there’s the teenage squirrel—so filled to the brim with buoyant energy that it can’t just walk but literally leaps from spot to spot like an over-wound children’s top, bringing a smile to anyone who is there to share its joy. And, of course, there’s the late spring rains that wash and refresh the drying grasses … that feed the mother doe nursing her newborn fawn.
On and on, this one great principle plays itself out before eyes that have yet to perceive its perfection … or no fear could rush in to cloud them: real life is exchange. It is a ceaseless cascade of timeless forces whose intelligent interactions sustain each level of creation, all in the service of an indivisible life whose unseen whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
This is the great model, the matrix of reality, as it is reflected from above to below. There are no exceptions to or exemptions from its rule or purpose. Any appearance to the contrary is just that, and whenever we break this rule—by clinging to who and what we have been in the face of any moment trying to show us that we’ve outlived the old model—we thwart its divine purpose, and then, much as weeds behind a broken plow, useless pain follows.
This understanding has direct implications for those who aspire to know the immortal Self. We are not meant to cling to the past—to seek there, for its sense of contentment or conflict, a feeling of ourselves. We can exchange this level of mind that struggles to know its place in life for the peace that comes in our atonement with life.
We are not meant to keep emotional accounts with others, to fill ourselves with disparaging thoughts of where they failed to meet our demands. Nor are we created to carry around with us the cruel and careless remarks of others, and this includes our regrets for where we may have done the same. We can exchange this nature of resentment, which lives to revisit disappointments, with a new and higher understanding that can no more feel punished by the sleeping actions of others than does a mountain feel pain in the midst of a thunderstorm.
We are not meant to keep our eye on some “tomorrow” from which we blindly borrow the false pleasure of what “might be.” Such dreams serve nothing save the spiritually sleeping self: an imagined sense of “I” that always realizes, too late, that its hope in things seen is the same as tomorrow’s sorrow. We can exchange its anxious struggle to complete itself in some “happier time” to come for the realization that our immortal Self is—and has always been—complete.